Four points you need to check before you download free virus protection
Free is only a bargain if it’s worth it. Get the wrong free virus protection and it can, quite literally, do a whole lot more harm than good. Get the right free virus protection and you can get all the protection you need for literally no money. It therefore pays to get the right free virus protection so here are four points you need to check before you hit the download button.
How much do you need to download?
If your free virus protection requires a huge download, then you probably want to think again. That’s almost certainly a sign that it’s an “old-school” antivirus product which needs you to download everything to your computer. In other words, it’s the kind of security software which is absolutely notorious for causing performance issues, even on premium computers like Macs (which need protection too).
If your free virus protection is just a small download, then that’s a very good sign because it means that it’s almost certainly hosted in the cloud, which is exactly what you want these days. Basically, cloud-hosted free antivirus protection has the cybersecurity company’s servers do all the hard work. This gives you the protection without the pain of experiencing your computer slow to a crawl.
Does it offer solid protection from all malware?
Even though everyone talks about “free virus protection”, the truth is that it’s actually been a very long time since viruses were the only form of digital threat. These days, there’s all kinds of malware out there from adware to worms via spyware and you need protection against all of it.
It’s particularly important to have solid protection against spyware as this can be close to impossible for humans to detect on their own. Spyware is exactly what its name suggests and it’s designed to be discreet. This means that unless you have solid protection in place, the first time you learn you have it may be when you get a letter about a loan you never knew you had or, worse still, a visit from the police asking why your computer was being used in cybercrime.
Is it regularly updated?
This is a huge issue. A lot of legitimate “freemium” (part free/part paid) software, is profitable because it is “set and forget”. Basically, a software developer can create a piece of software once and then make a profit from the advert revenue without really having to do any further work.
Free virus protection is very different. In simple terms, free virus protection is only as good as its last update, so if a software developer just “drops the ball” and moves on to another (more profitable) project, then you may wind up in the dangerous situation of thinking you are protected when actually you are very much still vulnerable.
There are three ways to avoid this issue. The first way is to look and see if you can find the date of the last update on the software developer’s website. It used to be standard practice for software companies to state this but now that the top software companies are moving to cloud-based antiviruses, this has largely stopped.
The second way is to look for user reviews. If you can see plenty of reviews from happy customers, then it’s probably safe to assume that the company maintains its products and keeps them updated as necessary. Remember, however, that you need to check for recent reviews, rather than ones from way back when.
Last but by no means least, you can just stick with free virus protection from known brands. This is probably the safest approach since companies which last the course in cybersecurity do so precisely because they know what they’re doing.
Is it backed by a reputable brand?
Picking up from the last point, brand really matters in cybersecurity because a good brand means you can have confidence in the company behind it. A lot of downloadable free virus protection is actually malware in disguise. A lot of what is left is essentially software which is designed to sell adverts and will have most of the functionality you actually need as “add-on purchases”.
The way to avoid both of these issues is to stick with free virus protection downloads from established, reputable, brands which take their free products as seriously as they take their paid products. Comodo has been protecting computer users for over 20 years and is trusted by millions. Click here right now to download Comodo free virus protection for your computer and get all the protection you need from one of the world’s leading cybersecurity brands.